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Jam Jar Lanterns 


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Jam Jar Lanterns 

Written By: Brookelynn Morris 


• Hammer (1) 

• Needlenose pliers (1) 

• Tape measure (1) 


• Jars (1) 

Any size will do. I used the quilted style. 

• Wire(1) 

• Lumber (2'-3' long) 

• Nails (3) 

• Nails (8) 

Finishing nails have no heads. 

• Candles (1) 


Lighting makes an event, and candles transform the mundane into the extraordinary. These 
glass jar lanterns are beautiful hanging from a tree, or from chain across a deck. Pick any 
jar you like, then bend a snug-fitting cage of wire on a custom-made jig. The technique 
makes it easy to mass-produce a large number of lanterns in a short time. 

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Jam Jar Lanterns 


To make the jig, measure the height and the circumference (C) 
of the jar. Then map out the nails according to this template. 

u \ 





! O 


• Finishing nails 

O Standard 
i i 

• Finishing nails 

i i 



Jar height Cr8 C * 8 

Jar height 


• Measure the jars, and then follow 
the diagram to calculate the 
placement of the nails on the 2x4. 
The diagram allows you to use any 
jar you like and still have a snug fit 
for the wire cage. Mark the points 
with a pencil. 

• Hammer in the 3 standard nails 
first. The topmost nail should be 
pounded down most of the way. 
The second and third standard 
nails should be left to stand higher. 

• Hammer in the 8 finishing nails. 
Leave them standing a good 1" up 
from the wood. 

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Jam Jar Lanterns 

Our jars measure 5 5/16" tall, so we cut roughly 4' of wire for each jar. Generally, you'll 
want to cut the wire to about 10 times the height of your jar. 

Be sure to make 1 complete Jam Jar Lantern to determine what measurements are perfect 
for your jars before making a series of them. 

Bend the wire so that a loop is formed at the center point of its length. Pull the loop tight 
and pinch it down with the pliers. Then hold the loop with the pliers, and with your free 
hand twist the wire twice under the loop. 

Set the twists against the topmost standard nail. Run the 2 ends of wire over to the closest 
finishing nails, one on the left and one on the right. 

Pull firmly and bring the 2 lengths of wire down to the next 2 finishing nails. Try to lay the 
wire as flat and straight as possible. 

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Jam Jar Lanterns 

• Cross the 2 wires under the standard nail in the center. Lay the wire from the right on the 
bottom, and the wire from the left over it. 

• You now need to twist the wire. To keep it secure, use the standard nail as leverage while 
working this step and the next. To begin the twist, bring the bottom wire over the top wire. 
Bend it over the top of the nail by pulling up and to the right. 

To form the second part, bring the unbent wire down and to the left. Finish the twist: bend 
the wire that's still up on the standard nail back down toward the right. 

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Jam Jar Lanterns 

Now that you've made the anchored twist, make a second simple twist beneath it. Mash 
down the 2 twists with the head of the hammer. You can then run the wires over to the next 
2 finishing nails. 

i t i 



Pull down firmly, make sure the wires are straight and flat, and then repeat to make 
another anchored twist. 

Add a half dozen or so simple twists at the end. Then pull the wire off the jig and cut off the 
shorter wire end as close to the twists as possible. 

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Jam Jar Lanterns 

Wrap the loose end of wire around the nose of the pliers. Then pull the pliers free and use 
them to press the end of the wire into a tight curl. Then bend the wire into a hook like the 
one on a coat hanger. 

Set the jar onto the 2 twists in the center of the wire cage, and, starting from the bottom, 
bend the cage up and around the glass. At this point, make any slight adjustments to the 
fit, and ensure that the jar is well contained in the wire. 

Bend the hook and loop ends of the wire so that they meet in the center of the glass. Fold 
the looped end under the hook so that they fit together to lock the cage shut. 

Add a candle. Write a message on the sticker that's included with the glass jar, or make a 
custom sticker and affix it to the glass. Light the candle with a long match and hang the 
lantern wherever you like! 

© Make Projects 

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Jam Jar Lanterns 

This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 10 . pages 70-73. 

This document was last generated on 201 2-1 0-31 04:41 :53 PM. 

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